You can free up memory and boost performance by putting the kibosh on unnecessary startup programs. Every program that automatically loads when Windows starts up chews up more of your PC’s memory. The more programs that muscle their way into your startup routine, the less available memory you have to run your applications. And many programs that start up automatically don’t necessarily need to do so. How can you control your Windows startup programs? In Windows 7, you can use the System Configuration tool. In Windows 8.1 and 10, you can use the Task Manager. But if these built-in tools aren’t sufficient, you can turn to a third-party utility. Such tools as Sysinternals AutoRuns and Autorun Organizer can help you determine which programs you can kick out of your startup routine and how to give them the heave-ho. Let’s see how you can get a better handle on your Windows startup programs. Many Windows programs like to climb onboard your startup routine. Some programs do legitimately need to launch at startup, such as anti-virus software and backup software like Microsoft OneDrive. But a lot of programs insist on starting up automatically whether or not they need to. That may be … Read More
It’s the end of July and we finally have some out of band fixes for the issues introduced by the June updates. I’m using the Office known issues page to keep track of issues. To remind you the following problems were introduced by the June updates: Issues opening attachments When you open an attachment in an email, contact, or task formatted as Rich Text you get the following error: “The program used to create this object is Outlook. That program is either not installed on your computer or it is not responding. To edit this object, install Outlook or ensure that any dialog boxes in Outlook are closed.” Both Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2007 still has no workaround or patch at this time. The underlying issue was caused by the following updates: KB3191898 Outlook 2007 KB3203467 Outlook 2010 This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
The latest financial reports showcase that Redmond’s bet on the cloud is paying off. But there’s one place that I think Microsoft could do better: Selling subscriptions to small businesses. I’ve personally found that buying various different cloud subscriptions can be confusing and in some cases, if you buy a cloud service from one vendor it may impact what you can buy from another vendor. Recently I wanted to buy a single copy of Windows 10 Enterprise including the Advanced Threat Protection service. But before I get into the particulars of my story, let’s step back a bit and explain what these new additional services do and why I wanted to purchase them. Microsoft has added to Office 365 and to Windows 10 desktops services that allows a savvy end user or a small business to have some interesting forensic tools at their disposal in the form of advanced threat protection service. When it’s added to Office 365, it allows the Outlook user to have additional protections from malware, ransomware and other targeted attacks. It filters urls in messages and filters email attachments. As noted in the literature, it can be added to the following products: Exchange Online Plan 1 Exchange … Read More
Want to get more out of Microsoft OneDrive or just customize some of its settings? Here’s how. You may already be running Microsoft OneDrive and hopefully find it an effective way to back up and synchronize your documents and other files. But what if you want to make changes to your OneDrive configuration? Maybe you want to add or remove folders to sync via OneDrive. Perhaps you want to change the location of the local folders that you sync with OneDrive. Or maybe you’ve accidentally deleted a folder or file in OneDrive and need to recover it. (Hint: OneDrive offers a Recycle Bin through which you can often recover deleted files). Yep, you can do all this by tapping into OneDrive’s settings on your PC and your online storage space. Let’s look at how to customize and manage your OneDrive configuration. We’ll be using the regular desktop version of OneDrive to start. The software is already baked into Windows 10 and Windows 8.1. Windows 7 users running OneDrive should already have downloaded the OneDrive application from the home page of the OneDrive website and used it to set up the service. Okay, let’s say you’ve been using OneDrive and now … Read More
You can beef up Microsoft Word with the right add-ins. Microsoft Word packs a lot of features and functionality into one single application. But there’s always room for more. Perhaps you wish Word included a built-in dictation feature that converted your speech into text. Or maybe you’d like a Word feature that reads your documents aloud to you. Or perhaps you’d like a built-in translator that can translate your text from one language to another. Well, Word may not include these items, but you can tap into them by installing an add-in. Add-ins provide greater functionality and flexibility to an Office application so you can do so much more with the program. You’ll find an array of Word add-ins through Microsoft’s online Office Store, but I’m going to highlight what I think are some of the top and most interesting add-ins to give you a head start. We’ll look at Dictate, an add-in that lets you dictate your documents directly into Word; TextAloud, an add-in that reads your text aloud to you; Read My Document; another add-in that reads your text to you; Translator, an add-in that can translate text in your document between different languages; Collins Dictionary; an add-in … Read More
Included in the July 2017 cumulative update are several fixes precipitated by last month’s June updates. The 1703 release of KB4025342 includes the following fixes: It addresses an issue introduced by KB4022716 where Internet Explorer 11 may close unexpectedly when you visit some websites – this issue introduced by June’s security updates. It addresses an issue to improve MediaCreationTool.exe support for Setup Tourniquet scenarios. It addresses an issue with CoreMessaging.dll that may cause 32-bit apps to crash on the 64-bit version of the Windows OS. It addresses an an issue where Visual Studio or a WPF application may terminate unexpectedly (stops responding, followed by a crash) when running on a pen and/or touch enabled machine with Windows 10 Creators Update. It addresses an issue that causes the system to crash when certain USB devices are unplugged while the system is asleep. It addresses an issues with screen orientation that stops working after lid close and lid open transitions. It addresses an issue that causes .jpx and .jbig2 images to stop rendering in PDF files. It addresses an issue where users could not elevate to Administrator through the User Account Control (UAC) dialog when using a smart card. It addresses an issue where input using … Read More
Windows 10 works on desktops, laptops, tablets, and laptops that can turn into tablets (sometimes called convertibles or laplets). But its touchscreen interface is far from perfect, especially when you compare it to Android or iOS. There are good reasons to use a Windows 10 laplet instead of a dedicated tablet with an Apple or Google operating system: You have access to more powerful applications, you have a real, user-controllable file system, and most Windows 10 tablets can turn into full-fledged laptops. But when you remove your keyboard and mouse, and depend entirely on touch, Windows 10 turns clumsy. I’ll describe some of Windows 10’s worst touch UI problems, and hope that someone at Microsoft reads this article. I’ll also provide the few fixes and workarounds I could find. The Big Tiny Problem Consider selecting a folder from a dropdown menu in File Explorer. It’s easy with a mouse. But when the only pointer available is your finger, you have a good chance of selecting the wrong folder. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
In Windows 7, you can create and customize accounts all from Control Panel. Adding user accounts in Windows 10 is a relatively straightforward process. You can add and manage accounts from the Accounts screen under Settings. In Windows 7, the process isn’t difficult but it is different. You create and modify accounts from the good, old-fashioned Control Panel. You can add new accounts, change their names, change their passwords, change the account type between a standard user and an administrator, and create a password reset disk for your own account. For those of you still running Windows 7, let’s go through the steps for creating and tweaking user accounts. Creating multiple user accounts is a convenient option if you’re sharing a single PC among different people. Those of you in the same household or small office can sign in with your individual account and create your own individual desktop, wallpaper, color scheme, and other settings. Windows 7 supports three types of accounts: Administrator, Standard, and Guest. With an administrator account, you can create and modify other accounts and change virtually all system settings in Windows. With a standard account, you can modify your own settings but you can’t create or … Read More
Ransomware Hits the Same Vulnerabilities Keep calm: While the news is grim over the latest ransomware, the steps we’ve taken earlier will most likely keep most of us secure. It’s key that you have March’s Windows updates installed to protect from the SMBv1 vulnerabilities and April’s Office updates installed to protect from the RTF (Rich Text Format) vulnerability being used in the attacks. In addition, the vulnerability is specifically targeting networks and using some additional tricks up their sleeves as noted in PTSecurity blog post. The attackers are utilizing various network tools such as Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and PsExec to distribute the ransomware throughout a network. It further uses password retrieval tools to gain the local administrator passwords on the workstations in the network. For home and small businesses the best protection is to be vigilant in not opening suspicious emails, and to ensure the March and April updates are installed. What to do: Ensure your systems have the March’s Windows updates installed to protect from the SMBv1 vulnerabilities and April’s Office updates installed. Windows Fixes for IE Printing and Indexing Microsoft has released updates to Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 to fix issues introduced by the June 13th Windows … Read More
NOTE: For the second time in two months, Windows users are susceptible to a global malware attack. To protect yourself against this one, called Petya, I recommend reviewing my articles “What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself from Ransomware” and “When You Should Disable Server Message Block v1.” Signs You’ve Been Hacked It’s either easy or hard to determine if you’ve been hacked. In the case of ransomware, it’s extremely easy to know when you’ve been hacked: You get a request for money. However, the goal of most of the best hackers is to leave you blissfully ignorant of any wrongdoing. This way, your machine and your network access remains a resource for them to exploit. For example, the NSA tools that were recently released to the public were designed to allow for silent access to a system. The exploits released back in April have been patched by Microsoft, but they point out the goal of these nation-state attackers is to be stealthy and covert. So then if the goal of these tools are to be silent, how can you then know when you have been attacked? This is often the hardest of all – often you only know if … Read More